University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) is one of the employers within the Birmingham and Solihull Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) which, collectively, have decided to fund employees’ applications for settled status.
One in 25 of the 21,500 members of staff at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) are nationals of other European nations. The Trust, along with partners in the STP, has been exploring what practical support it can offer this key group of staff after Brexit. The Trust has now taken the decision to pay the £65 cost for staff to apply early for settled status before Brexit in March 2019 in order to ensure these individuals can continue to live and work in Birmingham, have stability, and benefit their colleagues and, most importantly UHB patients, after March 29.
From 29 November, all employees in the health and social care sector have had the opportunity to apply early for settled status as part of a pilot, before the scheme is opened up to the general population next March. Under this phase of the pilot, staff will be able to apply for status under the scheme if they are a resident EU citizen with a valid passport.
By regularising their immigration status in the UK under the Home Office settlement scheme, our existing 845 EU nationals will have unrestricted rights to remain in this country, plus a UK passport, once they have been living continuously in the UK for five years. Family members will not be able to apply during this phase of the pilot unless they are also eligible through their employment with a participating organisation, or they are also being supported by one of the participating community organisations.
Anyone who has lived in the UK for less than five years may be eligible for “pre-settled status” instead. This means they can stay in the UK for a further five years from the date of qualification, and then apply for settled status on the basis of five years’ continuous residence. The Home Office scheme will be open to all EU citizens and their family members living in the UK from 30 March 2019 and closes on 30 June 2021. Application will be free for those already with indefinite leave to remain or a permanent residence document.
Dr David Rosser, Chief Executive of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “All of us at UHB value highly the contribution made to the NHS and the country as a whole by our staff from Europe, as well as many other countries. They are a vital and much appreciated part of UHB.”
The Trust will directly contact eligible members of staff who are from an EU country with more detailed information about the process.